1935 Australian Jamboree
Gilwell Park - Gembrook

Gilwell Park is a 160 hectare bushland property adjoining Gembrook State Forest. It is the main leader-training centre for Victoria. Now, as then, it offers Scouts quality camping.

On 10th January, 1935, those who had taken part in the Jamboree hike program, camped overnight at Gilwell. During the evening, the boys met at the Campfire Circle in the Boys' Field.

The following excerpts from The Age record the arrival of the hikers and some of the highlights of the evening's activities.

"As the various troops marched through the gates at Gilwell Park they were greeted by brother Scouts who had come in earlier, and experiences were swapped. In front of the troop hall there was a bench, where those who had participated in the hike placed their belts to be stamped with the words, Australian Jamboree hike - an original memento of a great experience. That scene on the parade ground beside the troop hall was animated and cosmopolitan - as Scouts of many nations mingled in the throng of 600, joking and story telling."

Scouts preparing the campfire site

"A huge fire eight feet high burnt brightly, and the flames leapt upward and pierced the inky blackness. Round the circle of light cast by the campfire were rows of log benches. There was a babble of voices, and then at a signal, silence. Into the circle moved a figure clad in a flowing cape. It was the World Chief Scout, who, like an Indian chieftain, had come to receive messages from his braves after a great expedition."

The article concludes by reporting the speech made by the Chief toward the end of the camp fire:

"I have been to a great number of Jamborees, and this one is the best I have been to. It has been a wonderful experience for all of us. But, apart altogether from the great numbers and the great rallies, the thing that stood out most encouragingly was the way in which friendships were made amongst fellows from all countries and classes."

In February 1935, several buildings were moved from the Frankston site and re-erected at Gilwell. Two of these - the hospital and Forest Hut - are still in use.

In addition, "The Jamboree Scout", a bronze statuette crafted by Paul Montford, an eminent Frankston artist, now overlooks the de Molnar training ground. This model was commissioned for the Mornington County Scouts and was on display at their sub-camp.